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You can encourage specific actions with a trust

Do you feel like you have spent your life encouraging your heirs to take certain actions and helping them become the best that they can be? Do you want to keep doing that after you pass away?

There is one option. You can use a trust that offers monetary incentives when they hit specific goals. These goals have to be legally permissible, of course, but they allow you to have some influence over how someone's life turns out -- or that person has to give up their inheritance.

Examples of goals include things like:

  • Community service
  • The arts
  • Homeownership
  • A college degree
  • A successful professional career

Whatever your ethics and values push you toward, you can pass that on to the next generation.

For example, maybe you were thinking of leaving $200,000 to one of your heirs, who is a teenager. However, you worry that a young heir may waste that money and have nothing to show for it in a few years. You want to make sure they go to school and get a good education.

Instead of leaving them the money, you create a trust and put the money in it. The trust says that they get $50,000 went they graduate college and then they get $10,000 per year for every year of gainful employment. This way, they still get the $200,000, but you know that they will still work hard in life and won't waste the money quickly.

This is just one example, but it helps to show how many options you have with trusts. Make sure you consider them all carefully.

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